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TN Assembly Election: No Headway Yet as Congress Seeks Fair Deal from DMK Based on 'Mutual Respect'

File photo of Karnataka Congress MLA and AICC Tamil Nadu in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao.

File photo of Karnataka Congress MLA and AICC Tamil Nadu in-charge Dinesh Gundu Rao.

AICC in-charge of Tamil Nadu Dinesh Gundu Rao declined to say how many seats the Congress has sought, but insisted the deal has to be fair and based on mutual respect.

The Congress has convened a meeting of the state executive committee in Tamil Nadu on Friday amid indications that seat-sharing talks with the DMK are yet to make headway. AICC in-charge of Tamil Nadu, Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Wednesday the party had one round of talks on Tuesday but there was no progress on seat-sharing.

Rao, former president of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, said he is reaching Chennai on Wednesday and further meetings on seat-sharing are slated on Thursday and Friday.

“We have state executive committee meeting on Friday. So, hopefully by then, we should have some decision on all those things,” he said.

Rao, a former Karnataka minister, declined to say how many seats the Congress has sought but insisted that the seat sharing deal has to be fair and based on mutual respect.

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“Obviously, everything has to be fair. Nothing unfair.. (and unfair deal) is neither good for us (Congress) nor for them (DMK),” Rao, son of former Karnataka chief minister late R Gundu Rao, said.

Asked if he expected seat-sharing talks to be smooth or to face problems, he said they are still under negotiations, adding,” I cannot say exactly anything as it’s still in the process.”

On whether seat-sharing deal with DMK would be struck eventually, the MLA from Karnataka said he cannot say anything now. “Till it happens, I can’t say anything. To be finalised, no?” “I won’t say anything on that. When we are in the talks, I don’t think we should make any other kind of remarks.”

“Not correct,” Rao said when asked if going alone in the April 6 assembly elections is an option for the Congress.

Rao also struck a positive note, saying the Congress has had a long alliance with the DMK. “We think that it’s a good alliance and it should continue. Hopefully, everything should work out,” he said. “We have fought fascist forces together; so, that is the main agenda, common ideology of this alliance.”

The DMK has already signed seat-sharing pact with the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK), apportioning them three and two seats, respectively.